U.S. Representative from Oregon pushes GMO labeling bill

Kurt Scharder’s measure would prohibit state and local governments from implementing special requirements.

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A bill co-sponsored by  U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader prohibiting state and local governments from passing special GMO labeling requirements passed the House Thursday.

The measure would also overturn standing regulations.

Schrader was one of 15 Democrats who co-sponsored the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act as what he called a conservation measure that would avoid confusion around bioengineered crops that are more insect and drought resistant and may produce higher yields. Schrader is an organic farmer from Canby.

“If you’re worried about climate change and want good science, you should be for this bill,” Schrader said. “This is precisely why I’m very concerned about the demonization of biotechnology, and a rejection by many of the supporting science behind it.”

(SOURCE: Bend Bulletin)

The bill passed in a 275-150 vote but was panned by fellow Oregon Reps. Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer.

In the Senate, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a bill that aims to bestow a protected class on more groups of people.

The bill, which has the backing of 158 House members and 40 senators, would add gender, sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing protected classes in the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. The act now covers race, color, religion and national origin.

A number of federal laws already call for equal treatment for women, but Fatima Coss Graves of the National Women’s Law Center said the bill “closes several longstanding gaps in legal protections against sex discrimination.”

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

The areas to be affected: Education, employment, finance, housing, jury selection and public accommodations.


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